In the past few weeks in between scheduling clients and working on some projects for clients, we’ve gone so some fun free (or $5) events, met a lot of local vendors, and had fun snapping photos. Included in these awesome events were the Hunter Ice Festival in Niles, Michigan, a Winter Day at the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, IN, and The Annual Magical Ice Fest in St. Joe, Michigan.
One of Jenny’s friends had posted photos on Facebook of the giant ice sculptures at the Hunter Ice Festival in Niles, so of course Jenny looked at the event, saw that it was the last couple hours of the 3-day event, and yelled, “Jason we have to go look at this ice NOW!” The festival boasts ice sculptures from artists who placed 2nd in the World Ice Art competition within the past year! The ice sculptures were along 3 blocks of the city, at every business, and there were even: 1) A complete table ice sculpture with bucket holes so that they could serve ice creams out of them 2) An ice ping pong table 3) Ice putt putt 4) An ice Eifel Tower & ice Castle (complete with dragons nearby) 5) An ice throne.
In warmer areas like Jason’s home state of California, the zoo is opened literally every day year-round. Here in the Michiana area (Southwest Michigan/ Northwest Indiana) most outdoor things and even businesses near lakes are “seasonal.” By seasonal, we mean that many things completely close for “winter” from as early as mid-September to the end of November and remain closed until April or May. The zoo closed November 28th to reopen in Spring in April), but they hold 6 “Winter Days” for people to come and spend a few hours visiting the indoor animals and those outdoor animals who don’t mind braving the snow and cold. We spent one of these such Saturdays enjoying photographing the animals and watching them play for only $5 admission!
Somehow again we stumbled upon another fun, free ice sculpture event… but this next one was a doozy. Jenny again saw an event posted to Facebook, forgot about it, then saw it the day of the event and knew they had to go. This event was in St. Joe, Michigan and was called the Magical Ice Fest. The first night of this festival too had a very intense ice sculpting contest (similar to many ice festivals) which was timed for about 2 hours and amazing to watch. The sculptures started off rough, but some soon soared as tall us as and were painstakingly detailed! Not only that, but there were many already made ice sculptures lining the streets, a giant ice sculpture of a bowl of ramen, many ice bodies that you could put your head on top of for photos, and even another ice throne! At the end of that first night they had: drumroll please … A bonfire in a giant 10-foot ice tower! It was amazing watching flames soar up and engulf the palettes within an ice tower. It’s hard to describe something so amazingly majestic, so enjoy the photos!
Tomorrow we’re really looking forward to going to (our 3rd) monthly MAKE South Bend Maker’s Market where we’ll check out local artisans’ products and enjoy some pizza and crafts! Hopefully we’ll win one of the prizes this time, but we don’t have the best luck at those types of things. MAKE is the local “Maker Space” that hold classes and has memberships for anyone interested in creating pottery, laser cut anything, 3D printers, metal working, wood smitheing, etc. Their 1-year anniversary is this week, so we also plan on going to their Birthday Party this Friday (Feb 19th) from 6-8 where we’ll enjoy some cake, the photo booth, and enter their block carving contest!
Coming up on Saturday (20th) there will also be Winterfest 2 at the South Bend Farmer’s Market which we plan on going to to grab some of our favorite really unique mushrooms (who knew we liked mushrooms?! We didn’t!) and check out the additional vendors and crafts! We just met Cecilia the other day who runs a booth with unique specialty antique jewelry, so we plan on checking her out. We may or may not have bought a couple antique pins from her already, so we know her stuff is really affordable and definitely quality. We hope to see you out & about at some local events! It costs nothing to browse and it’s fun stuff to do in winter! ;)